Nick Saban on Donald Trump attending Alabama-LSU: It’s an honor he’s interested enough to come

President Donald Trump is expected to be in Tuscaloosa on Saturday for No. 2 Alabama’s critical matchup against No. 1 LSU, marking the latest sporting event for Trump in recent weeks.

Though he’s met plenty before, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban sounded excited about hosting a president at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

“It’s an honor, I think, that the President of the United States would be interested enough to come to the game,” Saban said, via the Montgomery Advertiser. “I’m sure we’ll do everything we can to welcome him.”

Saban has plenty of experience with presidents, having made the trip to the White House multiple times after winning national titles — when Trump, President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush were in office. He also had a run-in with President Bill Clinton while he was at Michigan State, and even offered up his office couch.

“Bill Clinton came to Michigan State to speak at the graduation commencement ceremony, and they actually headquartered in our facility building, so I had the opportunity to meet him and talk to him,” Saban said, via the Advertiser. “[At one point], the Secret Service guys came and got my couch and asked if they could take it to his office so he could take a nap, and I said, ‘Certainly.’”

Trump’s recent string of sporting events

The game will mark Trump’s third appearance at a major sporting event in as many weeks. He attended Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park last month, and was met with a loud chorus of boos, a “lock him up” chant and even a pro-impeachment banner. Trump then made the trip to UFC 244 on Saturday — becoming the first sitting or former president to attend an MMA bout — and received a mixed reaction from the crowd at Madison Square Garden.

It’s unclear what reaction he’ll receive on Saturday, though the Alabama Student Government Association issued a warning to students on Wednesday in a letter. Any students or organizations that “engage in disruptive behavior” during the game, the letter said, will be “removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season.”

The student government later sent out another letter after backlash from the first, claiming the initial warning had “nothing to do with anyone’s First Amendment rights.”

Either way, neither Saban nor LSU quarterback Joe Burrow seem concerned about a potential sideshow or hosting a president in the midst of an impeachment inquiry.

“Regardless of your political views, that’s pretty cool having the president at the game,” Burrow said Monday, via the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. “Doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, the president at the game’s pretty cool.”

President Donald Trump is expected to attend No. 2 Alabama’s game against No. 1 LSU on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
President Donald Trump is expected to attend No. 2 Alabama’s game against No. 1 LSU on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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